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Not sure why they still have 2 Michelin stars: Restaurant Auberge de l’Ill [Haeberlin] (3. Oktober 2020)

| October 14, 2020 | 0 Comments

I was looking forward to this special experience as the Auberge de l’Ill really sounded like a unique place with amazing dishes. And I must say, the place itself is incredible. Perfectly located right next to a little river with a huge and beautiful garden – there is really nothing you potentially could be missing. However, when it comes to the actual dining experience, the world looks a bit different. To be fair, it started in a lovely way – you’re seated outside in the garden right next to the river and get to enjoy a beautiful evening. Once you’ve picked what you’re going to eat – I went for the “Menu Häberlin” (EUR 195.00) with the “wine pairing” (EUR 90.00), you get a small appetizer which was very promising as it was really tickling your palate and getting it ready for the rest of the evening.

After that, you’re taken inside to your table and get to pick from a variety of breads. I went for the “tomatoes and olives bread” which was absolutely delicious.

In combination with the “salted and regular butter”, it really made for a perfect way to fill up your stomach a bit.

Next in line was a first “amuse bouche” which was equally delicious. At this point in time, I was still completely persuaded that this was going to be a unique experience.

And it continued for a bit – the first course was a “langoustine on a multicolored tomato, lemon oil and herbs from the garden de l’Ill”. The combination of flavours was incredible – the langoustine was rich and mouth-watering. The way they prepared the tomatoes below was truly breath-taking and the chip on top was just perfect. So, all in all, it turned out to be a great course.

With the next course, the downslide started – slowly, but it started. The “pan-fried sea bass fillet in rock fish, octopus and fennel broth” was interesting in thus far as the single ingredients per se were not really that exciting (besides the little bread on top) – the fish was bland, the soup was good but the octopus was a bit too chewy for my gusto. However, if you combined the single elements into one bite, it actually turned out to be quite tasty.

Now, what really kind of ruined the mood that evening was the fact that after this course, the waiter came to the table and informed the group that we’re too loud and asked us to tone it down so the other people could also enjoy their evening. I get that, okay, so you’re not going to such a place on a regular basis and want to have a very quiet evening. Fine for me, I have a certain level of understanding for that. But then to just shut up other guests (and we weren’t being loud, we just laughed a lot) is kind of a no go. And only because it’s a Michelin starred restaurant doesn’t mean you cannot laugh. Although, it seems like this is the rule.

After the fish dish, it was time for a vegetarian version of something which contains “meat” in its name! “Vegetarian fleischnackas from our market gardener Philippe Uhl in their broth”. I was, admittedly, very skeptical to try this as why the hell would you prepare a vegetarian version of a meat dish. But, it turned out to be better than expected. However, nothing surprising or exciting in the combination of flavours and textures.

The main course was “rack of lamb from France, stuffed zucchini flower, chanterelles and fresh almonds” which was interesting to a certain degree as the lamb was tender and didn’t taste much like lamb. The combination with the different ingredients, on the other hand, was good but again, the surprise effect was missing. I mean, if I’m going to a restaurant with two Michelin stars, I somehow expect to be surprised flavour-wise, and that really wasn’t the case.

I think my biggest disappointment of the evening was the “cheese plate” (EUR 17.00). They didn’t even announce that they have cheeses to offer (again, surprising to me!) but after I had asked, the waiter outlined that they could not bring a cheese waggon due to COVID-19 and he would pick some cheese for us. I wanted to have intense flavours and blue cheese – well, I think you can see how much blue I finally got on my plate. Not really any, so frankly, that was really a disappointment. And, I don’t understand why you cannot provide a cheese waggon due to COVID-19. It’s not like you’re actually letting the guests touch the cheese …

As a first dessert, they offered “confit lemon paste, melon marinated in white port and melon sorbet” which was, again, a dish with a certain edge when it came to combining the flavours but not so much when it came to eating the single parts. The melon sorbet was, admittedly, tasty, but the melon pieces which were below (you cannot see them in the picture) were way too bitter to be enjoyable by themselves and that somehow really didn’t work so well for me as no one explained that you had to mix everything (which you find out yourself of course but somehow I would have expected it to be explained at that level).

The last course was “the gourmet variation around the peach” where they added some granita …

… which made it a more interesting dish. Again, it was good and overall enjoyable but the surprise element was completely missing. Nothing new, nothing exciting.

Even the “friandises”, while looking lovely, were good but nothing more. Somehow, I was disappointed as I have definitely eaten better when dining at restaurants with two Michelin stars.

On top of that, the service really tried their best but somehow didn’t live up to expectations either. I mean, if we have to ask you to bring more water over and over again and you somehow keep forgetting to bring it, this is not two Michelin stars service. So, to sum it up, come here for the place – as it is absolutely gorgeous and breath-taking and come here with low expectations (for a two Michelin star restaurant), you will be happy. However, if you are expecting what you usually get from a two Michelin star restaurant, you will probably be disappointed. Booking in advance is highly recommended in any case.

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Contact Details:

Restaurant Auberge de l’Ill

Rue de Collonges au Mont d’Or 2

68970 Illhaeusern (F)

Tel.: +33 3 89 71 89 00

E-Mail: aubergedelill@aubergedelill.com

Homepage: https://www.auberge-de-l-ill.com/fr/restaurant.html

About the Author:

I started the blog in October 2009, while living in Milan which I definitely consider to be one of the food capitals of the world. I was in touch with food since my early childhood (as my father is a former chef). Whenever I can, I travel the world to discover new places, to meet people but mostly to try local dishes and to find hidden gems! If you know a place worth going, please drop a line to: info@thediningexperience.org. Currently, I am a member of the following food-related associations: Chevalier @Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Zurich-Ville; Membre Gourmet Dégustateur @Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Dégustateurs [OMGD]; Gesellschafter @Goldener Fisch and Member @Slowfood Convivium Zurich City.
EUR 302.00 Filed in: Illhaeusern (F), Restaurants
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